Clackamas Service Center serves first hot meal since fire - KPTV - FOX 12

Clackamas Service Center serves first hot meal since fire

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

In the beginning of July, the Clackamas Service Center had to close after a fire gutted the building.

Hundreds of families relied on the free meals, medical treatment and shelter the center provided.

While it is still several months from reopening, volunteers have worked with organizations like OutsideIn to continue medical care onsite for clients.

However, the center hasn’t been able to provide any hot meals for families until Monday night.

FOX 12 was there for the center’s inaugural dinner, which volunteers say is a big deal for the community.

More than 60 people were served a hot meal Monday night — their first since a fire spread throughout the center.

Debra Mason, Clackamas Service Center’s executive director, said the space is a place for their clients to connect.

With nearly three months of not being able to serve any meals, they’re excited to get back to a normal schedule.

“We’re just gonna do what we do best, which is serve good food and we’re doing it right out of our parking lot during construction,” said Mason.

Their new kitchen is inside a food truck they purchased that they’ll be using to whip up home-cooked dinners until the center is ready to open.

Kerry Berglin stood in line Monday night to eat his first meal of the day.

“Well, like today it’s been raining so you come here and you have a hot meal,” he said.

Berglin is homeless, and has been working with a couple different organizations to get off the streets.

He and many others live miles away.

Whether it’s walking or biking, they say it’s well worth the trip to the center.

“It’s a long walk today but still, I don’t mind,” he said.

“It’s been tough on them because there aren’t a lot of services around here that are within walking distance or even an easy bus ride,” said Mason.

She said families rely on the center — and for more than just service.

“I’m always gonna be welcome and so that makes a big deal. It’s nice to know they look out for you,” said Berglin.

It’s three miles home for Berglin. He said he’ll be back.

“That’s my day, you know. Just coming here actually and going back home. That’s most of my day,” he said.

Post-fire clean up is finished at the Clackamas Service Center, but workers still need to replace major components like the roof.

Volunteers say they’re just happy to be serving meals again, and they’re still collecting donations on their website.

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